Saturday, April 08, 2006

Owl Clarification

Gray Screech-owl, one of the Ramble pair - 12/16/05
Photo by Lloyd Spitalnik

In response to my posting of 4/07/06 entitled Sad Saga..., Karen Anne Kolling writes:

I am very sorry about the owl. I have gotten confused about the owls. A while back, there was one of a pair that disappeared, wasn't there? Is this that bird?

No, the red-phased owl found dead on March 26 near the Loeb Boathouse was not the one that disappeared around January 11, 2006. That was the red-phased owl's gray mate [pictured above] with whom it had shared the "Riviera hole" . The little gray owl disappeared just when the Great Horned Owl was in residence in the Ramble. It was generally assumed that the GHO got it, since screech owls are often preyed on by Great Horned Owls. The red-phased owl continued to be seen, alone, for several months after her mate disappeared. And now it too is gone.

Meanwhile, only one owl,
the one we presume is the female, remains in the West Drive cavity. Its mate, you may remember, was flying out of its roost hole at 5:55 pm on February 24 when it collided with a car speeding along the West Drive. That owl, the male, was seen at the next two fly-outs. Then it vanished. The remaining West Drive owl is regularly seen flying out a little after sunset. Last night's fly-out was at 7:54 pm.